James Duddridge is the Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East, and Minister for Africa for the United Kingdom Government.
James was first elected in May 2005, winning 17,874 votes. He was subsequently re-elected in 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019, where he received 27,063 votes – or 58.7% of the vote - and a majority of 12,286, his biggest ever.
Born in 1971, James lives in Southend with his wife Katy, their two young sons Tom and Henry, their daughter Mary and their four cats.
In 2019, James was re-elected with his biggest ever majority.
Upon leaving Essex University, James went on to pursue a successful business career in the private sector. He was a banker with Barclays in the City of London and Africa for 10 years, rising to National Sales Director on the Ivory Coast and eventually running the bank’s operations in Botswana. He was also a founding member of the highly successful national polling firm YouGov.
Prior to entering the House of Commons in 2005, James fought the Labour stronghold of Rother Valley in the General Election in 2001, achieving a 5% swing in his favour.
In 2008, James was appointed to David Cameron’s front-bench as Opposition Whip with responsibility for the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office. In December 2008 he was promoted within his role as Opposition Whip and was responsible for the Treasury department.
Following his re-election in May 2010, James was appointed a Lord Commissioner and Government Whip with responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department of Education. In October 2011 James moved departments to become Home Office Whip. James returned to the back benches in September 2012.
James was appointed by the Prime Minster as a Minister at the Foreign Office between August 2014 and July 2016. His responsibilities included Africa, Overseas Territories and the Caribbean.
James campaigned in favour of Brexit during the EU referendum campaign. In 2019, he was appointed as a Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union and was part of the team who delivered Brexit on 31st January 2020.
James was part of the team that got Brexit done.
Following a brief spell on the back benches, James was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development on 13th February 2020 – a position he continues to hold.
In his spare time, James takes a keen interest in sport. In 2019 he ran his first London Marathon, completing the 26.2-mile route in 4 hours and 36 minutes, raising £3.407.07 for Havens Hospices. He is currently training for his second London Marathon, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He supports his local team Southend United, as well as Southampton. He also enjoys reading local history books, DIY and real ale, although not always in that order!